I’m not a fan of garage sales. Not a fan of going to them, but most definitely not a fan of having them. I just don’t think it’s in me to host a gathering in my garage where my old shirts, shoes, and worn down furniture are the main attraction. I appreciate the purpose, which is to clear your house of clutter so you can make room for new clutter. But I can barely host gatherings at my house with friends and family, having to paste a fake smile on and pretend I like having strangers fingering old t-shirts and my son’s not-so cool action figures is damn near impossible.
My kids decided they wanted to have a garage sale. The wife and I said fine, but this one’s on all you guys. You’re getting all your stuff around, pricing it yourself, and setting it all up. You’re also getting yourselves up early and having it all ready by 8am. They seemed okay with the arrangement. Of course, it never works out like that and we still had to help them get everything together. There were a couple signs set up the night before, but no ads in the paper or social media, so it was an absolute bust.
Garage sale was to start at 8am, but of course an older woman and her adult daughter showed up at 7:40am as we’re setting this thing up.
Random Person: “So how much for the action figures?”
My Son: “Umm, they’re $2 a piece.”
Random Person: “Well, I’ll give you .50 a piece.”
My Son: “Umm, okay.”
Just that exchange alone was enough for me to close things down. My blood went cold each time someone fingered and pried into the kids’ old wares. I don’t think it’s normal to have those levels of animosity towards complete strangers, but I never said I was normal.
I didn’t grow up going to garage sales, or having them for that matter. My mom never took me to the neighbor’s house to search for things for me. If I needed clothes we went to JC Penneys or Harvey’s downtown. If there was toys to be bought they were bought at 3D or maybe an action figure or two were picked up at Hook’s Drugstore while we were picking up a prescription of mine(I was sick a lot as a kid.) As far as clothes for me, I usually got hand-me-downs from my big brother, so by the time I grew out of those they were already pretty worn and beat up. My mom was a shopper. She liked shopping for clothes, and that rubbed off on me. I was probably the only 7-year old thrilled to find bargains on the bargain racks. We’d hit the local all-in-one store Harvey’s. It was the precursor to the Walmarts, Targets, and Meijers minus the grocery store. They had clothes, toys, sporting goods, music, and even a small pet store as well. That’s where I got a lot of my t-shirts and random toys(toy guns, Star Wars, Hot Wheels.)
If we needed something, we’d go to the store not someone’s garage. That’s just how it was.
If you love garage sales, both going to and hosting them, then that’s totally cool for you. I’m not judging those that enjoy them. I just don’t like them. I’m just not a bargain hunter. I can’t chew people down, and I don’t like being chewed down from .50 to .25. I don’t care if you are pulling random toys out of a broken clear plastic bin on a stranger’s lawn, maybe just pay the .50 and move on?
I don’t know. I guess I’m still a little burnt on Saturday’s 4 hours of absolute waste. We did make up for it, though. The boy and I hit Chimp’s Comix for some comic book healing. We also picked up a pizza and then watched The World’s End that night. All was not lost.
And I also picked up some vinyl healing as well. Seemed appropriate.